BlackBraid commuter bike weighs less than 11 pounds
By Ben Coxworth
March 5, 2013
Trek Bicycles used to make a jaw-droppingly gorgeous bike known as the District Carbon. The stealthy singlespeed steed featured a matte black carbon fiber frame, belt drive, and was designed – more or less – to be a fast commuter. Depending on its configuration, it weighed in at around 15 pounds (6.8 kg). Now, Germany’s PG-Bikes is offering something similar, in the form of its eye-popping BlackBraid Fixed ... and it tips the scales at under 11 pounds (5 kg).
PG created the fixed-gear BlackBraid in partnership with Munich Composites, the latter of which builds the frames using a proprietary carbon fiber braiding technique. This automated process involves weaving the individual strands of fiber over and under one another, to form a tube. Resin is then injected into the braided material itself (not into the hollow center of the tube), and left to cure.
According to PG, the result is an extremely strong, light type of carbon fiber, that’s “as stable as metal while weighing less than aluminum.”
Along with its unique frame material, one of the BlackBraid’s quirkier (and we assume weight-saving) features is its rear triangle – it has just a single chainstay on one side, and a single seatstay on the other. The bike also features a front rim brake that’s integrated into the fork.
Components are largely from German manufacturers, including a fork, crank and bottom bracket cup by THM; headset and stem by Tune; Schmolke bars and seatpost; and Rundkurs wheels with Continental tires. The BlackBraid’s Speedplay pedals and Gates CDX belt drive hail from the U.S.
A touring model of the bike is also available with front and rear disc brakes, and a Rohloff rear hub transmission. There’s no word on the weight of that version.
PG also isn’t publicizing the price of either model, although Fast Company claims that the BlackBraid Fixed will set you back just under US$20,000 – which is still much cheaper than PG’s 62 mph (100 km/h) BlackTrail electric bike.